Game 53: Price blanks Rangers in matinee

Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban clears the puck
in front of goalie Carey Price as Rangers’ Brian Boyle tries to get the puck.
Allen McInnis, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Saturday’s

NHL schedule | Boone’s
Game
Blog,
 Quick

Hits and About last night …
| Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story

Rangers kick off Habs’ Super Bowl weekend
Canadiens-Rangers rivalry steeped in history: Stubbs

POSTGAME AUDIO (Boone and Hickey compiled; apologies for overlap): Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Gionta 2 | Gionta 3 | Carey Price | Price 2 | Scott Gomez | Alexandre Picard

• At a Glance: The Canadiens can thank Carey Price for their 2-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday. Price made 19 saves in the third period as the Rangers pressed to tie the game en route to his fifth shutout of the season. Price made 35 for his league-leading 26th win of the season. It was a goalless game until late in the second period, when former Ranger Scott Gomez beat Martin Biron. Alexandre Picard, who was playing in place of the ill James Wisniewski, fired a shot that went wide of the net, but the rebound came to Gomez at the other side of the net and he roofed it over Biron with 1:26 to play in the period. Tomas Plekanec scored into an empty net with 38 seconds to play to seal the victory.

• Key Moments: Neither team was very special on special teams Saturday. The Rangers were 0-for-4 on the power play and the Canadiens were blanked on two tries, meaning they are 0-for-21 in the last four games.

• What It Means: Montreal moves three points ahead of the Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 30-18-5 record for 65 points. Montreal also has two games in hand and is only two points behind the Boston Bruins for first place in the Northeast Division.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens complete their weekend on Sunday when the New Jersey Devils visit for a 3 p.m. start. Montreal travels to Boston next Wednesday and plays the Islanders at home the following night.

175 Comments

  1. terrygain says:

    Great effort by everyone. AK was terrific. Picard played well. Nice wide shot-pass on Gomer’s goal. Picard has offensive gifts and with some tutelage about the need to be a little more conservative in his own end can be a very good defenceman. I’d like to see him rotated with Spacek and Hamrlik.

  2. oldrrty says:

    Am I the only that was screaming do not miss the net?

     

     

    I don’t care who wins as long as Toronto doesn’t!

  3. dancevon says:

    Hoping for a Habs win today on my 23rd Birthday!

  4. dancevon says:

    Hoping for a Habs win today on my 23rd Birthday!

  5. savethepuck says:

    I think a lot of teams would like a 4th line center with lots of playoff experience, unless Bob doesn’t care how good the player is.  Has he ever heard of a salary cap, which I think I’ve heard, Vancouver is nearly maxed

  6. HabFab says:

    Happy Birthday and I too was 23 twice…;)

  7. deuce6 says:

    In another non-related story, I came across this article posted in McLeans’ website..Talks about PK’s antics and defends his play:

    “The National Ho-Hum League”..Sounds about right..lol

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/01/20/in-defense-of-p-k-subban/

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  8. dre1744 says:

    we need this win today Bruins lost so we can catch ground on em and break away from the wanna bees chasin us!!!!!!

  9. Say Ash says:

    That’s nothing. My wife is 29 every year.

  10. J_P says:

    Whats amazing is how players will talk about respect when it comes to harmless antics like bow and arrow gestures, and spinoramas before the blueline, but when it comes to actual harmful acts like blindside hits to the head of an unsuspecting player, the players will actually defend their guilty teammate (except for andrew ferrence, and good for him for calling out Paille). 

    Mike Richards goes out every game and tries to literally end the careers of his fellow players, and than has the audacity to call out PK for a little chirping.  Seems like the players dont even know the meaning of the word “respect”. 

  11. dre1744 says:

    we are gettin are asses kicked in the faceoff circle. Plekanec is 1 for 10. Gomez is our best at 5 out of 10..

    On a side note Andrei is playing well hopefully he can pot one for us in the third hes getting some good chances

  12. Chris says:

    That comment wins! :)

  13. MTLForever says:

    MALKIN TORN ACL AND MCL!

  14. habs365 says:

    don’t like that..making things easy for philly

  15. Chris says:

    Glad we didn’t do my proposed trade froma week ago! ;)

    Wow…big blow for the Penguins, but also an intriguing opportunity to finally see what Jordan Staal can do. If Staal grabs the reins in anything approaching a reasonable manner, the Penguins can really look at trading Malkin in the off-season. It might be a gift to the franchise in the long run while being a huge blow for this season.

  16. MTLForever says:

    yes would be nice if he gets rotated in because he just sat 10 games and then came in. WIZ may not go tomorrow also.

  17. Mike D says:

    The same thought crossed my mind as well. Actually I’ve been thinking about that for a while now that if Staal can establish himself as a legit 2nd line center, then either he or Malkin (likely Malkin due to the higher salary) becomes tradeable for an elite winger, or two very good wingers.

    – Honestly yours

  18. andrewberkshire says:

    Man he’s been unlucky with injuries lately.

  19. habs365 says:

    Don’t be nasty

  20. RJB says:

    Arpon Basu tweets that the Pens have played just 2 games with Malkin Crosby and Staal all in the lineup…wow

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Happy birthday :)

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  22. andrewberkshire says:

    I think Malkin has missed almost all the time since Staal’s been back in the lineup, last game was his first game back. Staal however, hasn’t exactly ‘grabbed the reins’ yet. He’s scored just over a point ever 2 games despite getting primo icetime and pp time.

  23. SmartDog says:

    Wow – I think I married her twin!

    And she says I turn six when my son takes the wii out. 

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    Poor guy, I knew he had knee problems in the last couple of seasons but damn… hope he can make a good recovery from this, I always thought physically, he had more talent than Sid.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  25. observer says:

    he “chilled out” the rangers

  26. MTLForever says:

    They got into our zone too easily, however, it was great to keep them to the outside.

  27. Storm Man says:

    I guess you are missing the meds today.

    ” Not everyone can afford a brilliant stock advisor like storm”. TripleX 01/25/2011.20:16

  28. jimmy shaker says:

    With a “W” tomorrow we move into 1st place in the division and 3rd overall.  But the cubs will have a game in hand still but it will make wednesday tilt that much more interesting.

    Shaker

  29. RC-51 says:

    For a guy who has been riding the pines Picard played a hell of a game 1 assist, 4 blocked shots(one of them late in the 3rd) and tried to knock out that GOOF!!

    Price looked in the zone. 

    Well deserved W! Huge 2 PTs with the B’s losing

  30. observer says:

    could part of it also been martin did not want to burn the habs out today with another very winnable game tomorrow afternoon facing them and had them playing defensively?

  31. Chris says:

    Still early, though. For Staal, who was coming off a nasty hand injury, this is essentially the pre-season. He ended last year with the same tendon injury as Andrei Markov suffered, missing the first 12 games of the season due to the re-hab and an infection following that surgery.

    Then he broke his hand in practice, missing another 39 games. You have to expect some rust.

    So he might be on pace for another typical Staal year (20 goals, 50 points) which is decent for a #2 centre. He did show some promise, with 8 points in 9 games after going scoreless in his first 5, but only 1 of those points has been in the last 4 games. Time will tell.

  32. StevieRay says:

    I thought he should of been the 3rd star………

  33. MTLForever says:

    definitely.

  34. Willy the bum says:

    I don’t know, the Devils are getting back on their feet, especially Martin F.  A few days ago, I heard their last 10 games a record of 8-1-1.

    Well hope for a win tomorrow anyways, and afterwards the Habs will enjoy a good beer and the Super Bowl game.

  35. deuce6 says:

    Does Auld play another position IDK about? lol

     

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  36. Mike D says:

    Never like to see players get hurt – especially ours, and Lord knows we’ve had more than our share over the years – but no Malkin improves our chances against them.

    – Honestly yours

  37. MTLForever says:

    5 – Team-high number of hits thrown by rookie forward Lars Eller in the contest. 

     

    Nicely done, and a solid game by him. he may not be putting up points like people want him to but he’s doing the little things with ease.

  38. MTLForever says:

    was just getting scary cuz of it

  39. MTLForever says:

    Price, solid game. ELLER AND AK46 played very well. 

    Some scary moments from our D (weber, spacek especially)

    Nice goal by Gomez

     

  40. Willy the bum says:

    Happy birthday to us! I’m 27 now, and I heard a great win today! Nice.

  41. observer says:

    Habs missing Markov, Gorges, Wiz and Auld and still shutout the Rangers!

  42. ABHabsfan says:

    According to TSN, some guy playing in the KHL shot a puck 110.3 MPH! That’s insane! Kulyash, plays for Omsk, drafted bt Preds. Imagine him and Weber teeing-off together on the point?

  43. MTLForever says:

    not sure

  44. deuce6 says:

    Great defensive win and the team played really well in front of Carey, but where is the offense? We have games where we drive hard to the net and fill the thing and other games, like this one, we play a perimeter game and get next to no pressure..Say what you will..We need a big body that can play top 6 minutes..

    Don’t crucify me here, but a real cheap option would be Owen Nolan..Yes, I know he is an old fart, but he can bring even more leadership for a stretch run..He has s cored 41 goals in his last 2 season in the NHL..One more kick at the can? BTW, he is more than a PPG player in the Swiss pro league..23 points in 20 games..

    What do we have to lose if he signs for league min?

     

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  45. bigdave says:

    Probably was KPH and they didn’t convert!

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  46. RC-51 says:

    According to CBC we have 10 more points and 6 more goals scored than this time last year.

  47. SeriousFan09 says:

    Imagine shot-blocking that guy? It hurts to think about it.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  48. observer says:

    Play them on Wed and Paille is suspended and Savard out with concussion.

  49. ABHabsfan says:

    Being a goalie, just thinking about facing a shot like that makes my nuts shrink.

  50. RC-51 says:

    FYI for anyone living in GTA and doesnt have RDS 8 of 13 HABS games in Feb. are on TV. TSN & CBC

  51. Habs Proud says:

    Another solid win, this team quietly goes along. Especially great coupled with a Bruins loss. Price makes it look easy, AK was as good as I’ve seen him in a while, Eller was solid too

  52. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Got the job done, that’s all that matters. Would love to kick Brodeur’s ass tomorrow.

  53. observer says:

    Price was in total control. Excellent game!

  54. citizenSanto says:

    BREAKING NEWS FLASH!!!!

    Wiping your a$$ with your CH jersey may cause irritation.

    —————————————

    Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. — Augustine of Hippo

  55. savethepuck says:

    So 2 pts out of 3rd and only 4 pts out of 2nd place, added that because I don’t think anyone’s mentioned 2nd place which is an extra round of home ice advantage if 1, 2, and 3 all advance.Team’s playing great. First SO for Carey since November, picked a good time to get it, when your team only scores 1 ( and the empty netter).  Fun game to watch, I know not a lot of scoring but for me it’s better to see lot’s of scoring chances and great goaltending at both ends.  Biron played very strong as well.  since our losing streak in December, we are one of the hottest teams in hockey again.  another 2 points tomorrow will be equally as important, New Jersey playing really well of late so we can’t take them lightly and we embarassed them a bit last time we played. 

    3 afternoon games in the NHL today  and the scores were 2-0, 2-0, and 3-0 with all 3 games having an empty netter. Wish I took the grand salami under today.

  56. MTLForever says:

    THAT WAS A HEAD SHOT ON SPACEK! 

  57. savethepuck says:

    I was hoping people would give credit to AK and Eller for a great game even though they didn’t score. I noticed the same thing.  Have to add Picard to that too, I think we have a lot of depth at D, don’t know why so many people think we need to pick someone up at the deadline.

     

  58. MTLForever says:

    exactly those guys deserve credit. eller deserves more credit for other games also, people expected him to be an all star right away. hes young, hes getting some playing time now and out of his natural position. i like how he was dishin out hits today too

  59. Chips says:

    2 big points nice game, good effort. AK, Eller, Picard all excellent. And Carey! Carey! Carey! And Gomer scored WTF!!!! Bring on Brodeur! Cheers!

    25 in 2011

  60. JohnBellyful says:

    Montreal win: Price      Tortorella’s look of disgust: Priceless

  61. HabFanSince72 says:

    Nolan was already over the hill in 2003 when the Leafs signed him.

     

  62. RC-51 says:

    Benchwarmer!

  63. Rudy says:

    Not the this will happen, but can hit be looked at by the NHL after the game even if there wasn’t a penalty called? If so, I hope Canadiens management asked for it to be looked at.

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  64. LA Loyalist says:

    BREAKING NEWS FLASH!!!!

    Bob MacKenzie of TSN writes that “…the primary need (for Vancouver) is a fourth-line centre with lots of playoff experience.”

    PG! Get on the phone! They’ll take Gomez!!!!!!!! What are our demands? Hmmm, a case of Kokanee and some Nanaimo bars will do it for me? What do you guys want?

     

    “A day without bashing Gomez is a day without my meds.”


  65. ooder says:

    hahaha well played man!

    ——————

    GWG = game winning gionta!

  66. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    That was a good read and bang on.  thanks for posting it.

  67. MTLForever says:

    most likely will have surgery. 

  68. Mattyleg says:

    Good read!

    The NHL is so dumb. Back in the 80s, people fought because they actually hated each other. Now there’s this whole stupid ‘respect’ thing that’s going way way too far.

    Don’t take that to mean that I’m supporting head-shots and hits from behind, but the actual competitive fire has gone out of the league, and I blame that on all the money the players earn.

    Spoilt millionaires who don’t like people acting up in their exclusive club.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  69. observer says:

    Malkin may need surgery. Habs looking better in Eastern Conference playoff championship race every day.

  70. MTLForever says:

    he’s so calm, it’s great to watch.

  71. Bill H says:

    How sweet it is. 

    3 game winning streak.  Boston loses so we just 2 points back, and 1 point back on Washington. 

    We are one point ahead of the pace we set 2 years ago when we came in first in the conference.  I won’t hold my breath waiting to catch Flyers, but we are doing very well.  Cammy should be back soon too.

  72. fbkj says:

    ahhh gotcha, k now that i know what your talking about, yeah its way more over the top than price and subban

    okay i sorta see what you are saying

  73. fbkj says:

    im doing mental twister to figure out what his point is

    so because kovalchuk, who wasnt invited to the all-star game, messed up early in the season on the shootout

    the nhl screwed up by not initially inviting pk, who ended up going anyways

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ?

  74. HabFab says:

    My apologizes, link should have lead to Stastny and Duchene doing a Football type celebration dance they have put together to celebrate wins. The NHL Video link goes to the days videos only, not the individual one I thought I was hi-lighting. You can find it after it shows you, whatever video they have first. Joke is on me!!

    The victory dance is called the Bang Bang. Certainly more over the top then Price and Subban’s low fives.

    My implied sarcasm was that they were obviously corrupted after spending the All Star weekend with PK.

  75. zaq007 says:

    I would love Kessel on our third line :P

  76. Dave Stubbs says:

    With all that hatred and factual inaccuracy in a single paragraph, you leave your guard down when you misspell “idiot.”

    Dave Stubbs
    Habs Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter: twitter.com/habsinsideout1

  77. fbkj says:

    oh and to add can i say that i think your absolutely batsh[t insane?

    “I believe they gave that car to him because they knew he would be picked last. If they thought for a second a Canadien player would go last there would be no car.”

    there was talk of the car loooong before the draft

    “The Montreal Gazette is owned and controled out of Toronto”

    and HIO is controlled out of the gazette, so you posting here makes you owned and controlled out of toronto, by proxy

    how meta

  78. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    are you wearing a tin foil hat?

  79. punkster says:

    I’m speechless.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  80. LA Loyalist says:

    Is “Idoit” French for “Idiot”. I may have missed that class.

  81. observer says:

    damian cox is mr. holier than thou. he in his mind decides who has acceptable morals – no one else!

  82. novahab says:

    Damian Cox is a idoit just like most of the english Canadian or so called Canadian media. Truth is the english media in this country is totally control out of Toronto. The Montreal Gazette is owned and controled out of Toronto. Cox is crying because Kessel was picked last and he was because no player in that allstar game believed he belong there. I believe they gave that car to him because they knew he would be picked last. If they thought for a second a Canadien player would go last there would be no car. Cox face the facts Kessel sucks ,he lazy and way over rated as a third line player. Boston fleeces another idoit named Burke. Price and Plek are elite players and no they are no Crosby or Roy in thier prime. They are top end players with up side and if they went up for trade right now you would see GM going crazy to get them. Try to trade Kessel see what you would get. Any person being paid to be a jouralist and writes that kind of crap should be thrown in jail for fraud.

  83. HabFanSince72 says:

    Jail is a bit harsh.

  84. fbkj says:

    cox is a pundit not a journalist

  85. Mattyleg says:

    You konw that novahab is a computer program that randomly puts together lines taken from the internet and this site.

    Nothing he ever writes makes a lick of sense.

    Congratulations to the programmer!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  86. HabFab says:

    Your preaching to the choir Ian.

    Was being sarcastic after viewing the new Victory dance that Stastny and Duchesne are doing that they call the Bang Bang. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the players having fun. Just taking a crack at the stiff shirts trying to put PK down.

  87. Chris says:

    Hey, Duchene and Stastny have a master to learn from.  Hejduk’s “Swimming Man” goal celebration from a few years ago was just odd.  :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz3gX-rNEXM

  88. LA Loyalist says:

    Go back and watch Price in the playoffs against Boston. You’ll cry. Yes it was two horrible painful seasons (and to be fair there was plenty of blame to go around).

    Thank god pain recedes with time, but leave the revisionism to the revisionists.

  89. LA Loyalist says:

    …Pleks wasn’t what he is now out of the box – he and Price are still on their learning curve. Kessel was more of a proven scorer at the time of the trade.

    The eternal dilemma for GM’s is to risk judgement by exchanging known quantities for future considerations, i.e. draft pix and prospects. Betting on the future brings the benefit of deferring judgement. However in a situation like Toronto where “the future” is pushing a half-century :) or Montreal where there is little patience, it’s not so easy to happily stockpile picks while your team is getting creamed every night.

    I am no fan of Burke, but give him credit for having the balls to bring judgement closer instead of trying to defer it by sitting on picks. He could have extended his tenure in Toronto a few years by doing so.

    As for Price, great as he is now becoming, he should have played behind a veteran and learn to handle the NHL in Montreal. That’s on Bob. Obviously Bob thought he had the mental toughness of Dryden and Roy when he didn’t.

    It would have saved us all a lot of heartache – including Price, I’m sure.

     

  90. filincal says:

    The maturity of our young stars will come in a couple years…Eller, for some reason reminds me of  Pleks when he was first coming into the league. So much talent that will be developed in the next couple of years. I’m excited about our future and don’t mind the bumps along the way._____________

     

     

     

      I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  91. habs365 says:

    Price and Pleks very good players..and if anyone disagrees..they’ll have to attend hockey school

  92. Chips says:

    2008 playoffs Carey had a poor series against Flyers.

    2008-2009 first half of season Carey played lights out. After All-star break he fell apart along with the rest of the team. Carey was terrible in the playoffs that year, but so was the rest of the team. I still wonder what happened to make that team implode so horribly.

    2009-2010 Carey again started strong. He thought he played very well early on, but got no goal support and frankly he was extremely unlucky (I can’t believe how many times goals went in off his defensemen’s skates!) and his confidence got destroyed and he wasn’t very good after November.

    So really he only had 2 bad half seasons and 2 poor playoff series. He was lights out against the Bruins in 2008 playoffs.

    25 in 2011

  93. Chris says:

    Power forwards often don’t hit their stride until 23 or 24 years old. Cam Neely and John Leclair are great examples.

    Patience is definitely the operative word for the kids!

  94. savethepuck says:

    I assure you at no time in the last 3 or 4 years, Price would have been traded for a bag of pucks. Other GMs and scouts knew what he was capable of. At any time in the last 2 years we could of traded Carey and I assure you got more than we got for for Huet and Jaro. 2 bad seasons is a little bit stretching it too.

     

  95. Ian Cobb says:

    True dat Bill, It takes at least 4 or 5 years of pro for a goal tender to start to reach his prime, and a defence man is right up there also. Forwards seem to arrive a little sooner, but everything takes time.

  96. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Did you just start watching the Habs this season?  because Price has performed very well more than just “this year”.  You really need to stop cherry picking your facts to support your delusional concepts.

  97. filincal says:

    Hockey fans usually make the mistake of thinking players are easily interchangeable with other teams, but it’s rare for a scorer to come to another team and put up the same numbers (different system and teammates to adjust to…KovyII comes to mind). I think our sytem allows for all players to excel to an extent. Maybe not the personal numbers but better allround players which can be interchanged when injuries occur.

    I still wouldn’t trade Pleks for 80% of the players you named. He’s too valuable to our team as he would to 29 others.______

     

     

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  98. punkster says:

    Haha…I just edited my response to him. Last thing I want is a confrontation.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  99. punkster says:

    Um, last year? Not so well.

    And why use the word delusional or is confrontation your only desire?

    Edit:…never mind…Chris is on drugs ;)

    ***Subbang!!!***

  100. Chris says:

    That’s a good point Ian.

    But that really applies to every player. I would argue that Plekanec has found the perfect system for his style of play. If you picked him up and moved him to Pittsburgh and asked him to fill Malkin’s role, who knows how he would do?

    Comparing players is always apples and oranges (well, except perhaps Bergeon and Plekanec…those guys are very similar). That’s half the fun of the exercise! ;)

  101. Chris says:

    There are always grounds for disagreement with my logic! :)

    I agree with the ground shifting. But don’t forget…a lot of the other guys on that list are also young and still improving. Jordan Staal is still only 22 years old and growing into a power forward…people love to rip on the kid as being VERY overrated (probably true), but forget that most guys playing his style of game don’t establish themselves until their mid-20’s. Patrice Bergeron, who feels like he’s been around forever, is still only 25 years old. Crosby is still just 23. They are all improving as well.

    I didn’t intend my post as a slight on Plekanec, who has developed into a very good NHL player. I just wanted to point out that when you step back and look at the league as a whole, there are a TON of really good young players coming up through the ranks. How good is 25 year old Paul Stastny going to be in Colorado for example? He’s already a good player, and his supporting cast is improving. On the negative side, he’s going to be fighting for ice time against Matt Duchene. How good is Claude Giroux going to become with experience? Or Tyler Seguin?

    I’m not entirely sure I agree with the idea that Plekanec suffers more from the JM’s defensive system. Plekanec usually has the Hab’s best forwards as wingers, and those are veteran forwards that are known commodities. Bergeron has had a merry-go-round of wingers in an equally defensive system in Boston. Derek Roy is an excellent two-way centre in Buffalo, and he probably hasn’t known who his wingers will be or what to expect from them for the past couple of years with all the turmoil in that franchise. Stephen Weiss has been toiling in a far more stifling defensive environment with a much weaker cast in Florida for his entire career, but his numbers really aren’t that far off of Plekanec’s.

    I of course agree that Plekanec is relatively cheap, and that that is part of his inherent value. I just see him and Patrice Bergeron as very equivalent players: great two-way forwards on equivalent contracts putting up equivalent numbers in the same roles. If people would hesitate to include Patrice Bergeron amongst the NHL’s elite centres, than it wouldn’t be particularly objective to include Plekanec.

  102. Chris says:

    Fill me in…which one of those names is a joke? I’m curious.

  103. Chris says:

    Well, in all honesty, I AM tripped out on Toradol as I recover from a nasty tooth extraction yesterday. So maybe there is some delusion there… :)

  104. filincal says:

    AAY yay yay!!! you should really watch other NHL teams. Some of those names you mentioned are a joke. Pleks is a better all round player and team-mate than half those guys._____

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  105. punkster says:

    Go back and read his post and mine. Then ask yourself who looks foolish. Knock it off James. Neither of us said anything of the sort and in your reply to Chris below you say his comment infers something. It doesn’t and nor did mine. I have never said that this season is the only time he has played well. Get a life. Grow up. Get a job. Get a haircut. Join the Peace Corps. Do good work and stay in touch.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  106. Chris says:

    Depends on your definition of elite. How many players at each position should be considered elite?

    If I was a GM, I would trade Plekanec straight-up for Crosby, Malkin, Backstrom, Kesler, H. Sedin, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Toews, Stamkos, Carter, Thornton Staal or Getzlaf. You probably would too. And with the emergence of Matt Duchene, we’ve got another candidate to pass by Plekanec.

    I consider Plekanec somewhat interchangeable with guys like Patrice Bergeron, Mikko Koivu, Derek Roy, Brad Richards, Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Stephen Weiss, Paul Stastny or even Alexander Steen. They all do most things well. Plekanec is very good defensively, but struggles in physical games. Other guys excel physically, but struggle defensively.

    As for Carey Price, he is playing well this year. But the NHL is full of goalies that are playing well. Let’s see how the next few years pan out…it is far too early to say that Carey Price is elite. One could pretty easily argue that he and Pekka Rinne or Jonathan Quick could be traded for one another and you might not see a noticeable difference. Do you consider Rinne or Quick elite? Because they have even better stats than Price and certainly give their own teams a chance to win every time they play.

  107. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    I love how you start to backtrack when someone calls out your stupid post.  you said:

     “As for Carey Price, he is playing well this year. But the NHL is full of goalies that are playing well. Let’s see how the next few years pan out”

    that comment implies that this is the only time he has played well,  well it’s nonsense, he has played well before and is an elite goalie, deal with it.

  108. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Learn to read, I state you guy’s are delusional because you’re saying this season is the only time Price has played well.  Thats a joke and it’s pathetic and it’s stupid.  So spout all your stupid nonsense as much as you like, it just makes you look foolish.

  109. Chris says:

    Sure…show me in the post above, which seems to have offended you so, where I said anything about Carey Price in previous seasons, if you would?

    I’ll give you a hint. I didn’t. Price has been very good for roughly half his NHL career, and mediocre for roughly half his career. Maybe it was an extended sophomore slump. Maybe it was something else. I don’t actually care, because it wasn’t what the discussion was about.

  110. Chris says:

    You really do read more into that comment then was intended.

    That comment implies that Carey Price is playing well this year and that lots of other goalies are playing well this year.  That’s pretty much all I intended with it.

    If you want to read more into it, be my guest…I’m not sure there is anything else I could say to convince you otherwise.

  111. punkster says:

    James, I’m not getting down with you on this because it’s just not worth it. What is worth it though is pointing out, again, that you seem to enjoy confrontation. Hauling out the word delusional to make your point is, well, delusional I suppose. Delusional in thinking that you have countered his statement in any way, or mine for that matter, by stating that we are delusional. I think I’ll just go back to what I edited out earlier and ask you to grow up.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  112. andrewberkshire says:

    Considering Bergeron has finally recovered fully from his concussion problems, and regained his confidence, I would say people are taking your comparison of him to Plekanec the wrong way. Bergeron is a hell of a player, which is why I was hoping when he was struggling two years ago the Habs would have traded for him. Unfortunately we got Gomez instead, who’s a good player, but not as good as Bergeron offensively or defensively in my opinion.

  113. Chris says:

    I put Steen in just to see if anybody was paying attention. :)

    But consider this season:

    Plekanec has two more goals and four more points than Alexander Steen does. They both play just over 20 minutes per game. Steen probably has to deal with a weaker supporting cast, but benefits from a less stifling defensive environment.

    Steen is a guy I’ve had my eye on since last season…he’s really been coming around since about mid December of last season (almost a point per game through the second half of last season). He’s always had the talent, but seems to have finally discovered the work ethic. He’s on a VERY good contract ($3.36 M cap hit until the end of 2013-14) and is blossoming into a good player.

  114. Bill H says:

    Good post Chris. You are looking at it very objectively.  Your first group of centers are elite.  And your point about Price is dead on.

  115. habsguy says:

    I’d say you just put Pleks in some pretty heady company,  although personally I would rate him slightly above your second group!!

  116. rob_c says:

    Steen, I’m kind of hoping you meant Semin. I laughed when I seen Steen. Also, I don’t agree with Carter being in the first group that you had posted up above… Backstrom on the other hand I would trade for Pleks in a heartbeat. I never realized how good he was until seeing him in that 7 game series. That guys amazing.

  117. Chris says:

    I don’t know…Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn might disagree that Martin’s system let’s all players excel. ;)

    I see your point (I mentioned something similar above). If we’re talking relative value to the team, Plekanec is obviously crucial to the Habs’ success. He does everything well, and is called upon in every situation.

    But we only know that because we watch him everyday. From a stats point of view, how impressive is Plekanec? Here’s how he stacks up against the rest of the NHL’s forwards:

  118. tied for 52nd in blocked shots
  119. tied for 236th in hits
  120. tied for 59th in takeaways (a dodgy stat, given the lack of uniformity amongst scorekeepers)
  121. 2nd in faceoffs taken (this one proves his value)
  122. 57th in faceoff percentage (to be fair, the guy in 56th is Mike Richards, who has a reputation as one of the best defensive forwards)
  123. 24th in +/-
  124. tied for 20th in SH time on ice per game

    Looking at those numbers, he wouldn’t jump out to you as a top defensive forward, and certainly doesn’t jump off the page as a bona fide Selke Trophy candidate. It is only because we watch him every night that we know how absolutely terrific he is in that role.

    I freely admit to not having the time to do that for every team in the league. Heck, I don’t have the time to do that for the Canadiens. And unless I did, I really can’t comment how much better or worse Plekanec is than a guy like Mikko Koivu or Paul Stastny, who I only get to see play a couple of times per year. All I can say is that those guys produce at roughly the same rate and seem to be as crucial to their team’s success as Plekanec is to ours, which is why I lumped a lot of them together.

  • patience is a virtue says:

    This is an interesting discussion.  There are grounds for disagreement with your solid logic Chris:

    i) The ground is shifting – Pleks seems to be getting better by the season – his judgment, passing, moves, shot, hands, etc – seems it all stems from hardwork and professional attitude.  On pace for another 70pt campaign with an inconsistent merry go round of wingers. 

    Price is young and improving dramatically.  I find it hard to imagine him not becoming an elite goalie.  His performance is already elite.  I think it is a safe bet, as BG and PG did, to count on that for many many seasons to come.  NO WAY you trade him for Rinne or Quick.  Price has come through the fire of the Montreal media crucible and is, IMHO, on the other side (not without some singes and scars, mind you :).  His calm demeanor is perfect for this city.  We’ll see how his tallent matures, but in that regard he is already one up on St. Patrick ;)

    ii) The ground is lined with trenches – JM’s defensive system may be a perfect fit for Pleks, but given the improvements in his offensive prowress these past two years, I am left wondering how many points he’d put up if he had wingers like some of the centres on your first list.  Wingers unburdened from duties in JM’s defensive trenches.

    Admidtedly, The System helps Price.

    iii) The ground is cheap – Pleks at $5M for 5 is a steal over most of those other guys.  No way I trade that contract, excpet for Crosby, Stamkos or Datsyuk, maybe Staal.

  • _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Yes he played bad last year, but he played well at the beginning of last season.  and what about the season before that?  He was 24-12 in 07-08, is that not playing well Punkster or are you on drugs too?  I’d say Price has played well more than just this season.  It’s delusional to think otherwise.  But it is the internet and people are allowed to post stupid crap if they want right?

  • Ian Cobb says:

    Good post Chris, but all the players that you mentioned a straight up deal for, how many could play under J. Martin’s defensive first game plan. I would suggest not to many.

    They must sacrifice part of their own game and play as a defensive team first. So you see, we are comparing apples and oranges.

  • Chris says:

    I’ve certainly got Plekanec in my top 25 in the league. It is more a point of semantics. I find terms like “elite” and “super-star” are used too frequently. To me a super-star should be a player that can only be matched by a select few at his or her position in a sport. When you dilute it down, the word loses meaning.

    Based on stats this year, many would say that Price is an elite goalie. But if that is the case, then we also have to consider Jonathan Quick, Pekka Rinne, Tim Thomas, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonas Hiller and Roberto Luongo as elite goalies. I’ve always felt the “elite” label loses something when more than 25% of the players in that role fit under the label. :)

  • Chris says:

    I don’t rip down Price’s play. Note that I said that he is very good. How is that a rip? I questioned merely whether he should be considered elite. For me, he hasn’t proven that his name should have that label attached YET. Give him some time. He has been excellent for a season and a half of the last three years, and he has been mediocre for a season and a half of the last three years. I do think he has turned the corner, but he’s got a ways to go.

    I also never said that Kessel was elite. I merely stated that he was a very good player who gets ripped on somewhat unfairly. If we ignore what his cost was (as many insist we should do with our own players), one of the NHL’s few consistent goal-scorers should merit some value.

    I’m not overlooking Plekanec’s play. I’ve long thought he is a very good centre. I merely state that as Habs fans, we tend to either significantly over-value our players or tear them to shreds. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of ground for neutral observation.

  • Bill H says:

    I agree. :-)

    Halpern = 58.7%

  • habs001 says:

    winning  key face offs at the end of a game has not been plecks strength

  • Chris says:

    We are definitely blessed with Price, PK and Pacioretty. All those years of the letter K on the roster and now our hopes have moved a little further down the alphabet (let’s not forget Pouliot and Plekanec!). :)

    There are some other teams that look pretty well set up. Los Angeles have to be happy with Jonathan Quick’s work ethic and development, which has almost made Bernier expendable. With Doughty and Johnson on defence and Kopitar up front, they are pretty solid. If Brayden Schenn and Oscar Moller arrive as advertised, that team becomes scary.

    Atlanta has also got some nice pieces in Pavelec, Bogosian and Kane.

    And then there’s Pittsburgh…I’d certainly consider a trade of Price and Subban and Pacioretty for their best young players (Crosby, Letang and Fleury). :)

  • Bill H says:

    Bad example deuce.  A goal up with 15 seconds on the clock?  I’ll take Crosby, hands down.  He’s one of the top face off men in the league at 55.6%.  Pleks, on the other hand, is at 49.3%.  Face offs is one of the few things Pleks does not do particularly well.

  • rob_c says:

    Cosby lol, not a bad choice. I’d go with what we got, and have Halpern take the draw.

  • deuce6 says:

    Yea, well, 45% of the time he will lose the draw..

     

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  • rob_c says:

    Plekanec isn’t an elite player and never will be. Neither is Gomez, Gionta or Cammy. Isn’t the word elite supposed to describe the best of the best? Those 4 forwards could be grouped with another 60 in the league that are just as good or better. As far as forwards go I’d label Stamkos, Ovechkin, Crosby, and the Sedins “elite” talents. 

    Markov when healthy might be an Elite defenseman. But would you not rather have Chara, Keith, Doughty, Lidstrom…..to me those are the elite defenseman in this league… the best of the best.

    In my opinion, P.K. and Price are the only players on this team that one day could be considered elite talents. Like you, I would not consider Price one. Not even close. Your going to have to do more then win one playoff series and a career high of 25 wins to win that title. Maybe he wins 40 this year, and next, and takes us to a conference final or further…. then we’ll talk about the elite status. I wouldn’t call Niemi, Leighton, Nabokov, Lalime, Johnson, etc elite goaltenders because they’ve had a good year or too. We all know how good Price is.. but I’m still not sold. This year for about 10-20 games (after his incredible start) I was scared to say the least. Almost every game I’d be saying to myself “not again Price”…Thank God he’s regaining that form..

    lets hope Price and PK keep progressing. I cant think of any team in the league with both a young defenseman and goalthender I’d rather have. We could be looking good for a longggg time if these two pan out.

  • Chris says:

    I did, but Savard was only there for 1 of the three (well, two and a half). I figure Kessel’s one year of having Savard setting him up is off-set by Cammalleri getting one year of the opposition keying in on Iginla. :)

  • Chris says:

    So Cammalleri’s line has outscored their opposition more than Kessel’s has.

    The more relevant stat, perhaps, is that Cammalleri has played about 22.5 minutes as a penalty killer over the past two and a half seasons, while Kessel has played about 26 minutes as a penalty killer over the same time period.

    Basically, you would have to have a very, very injury depleted roster before you even remotely consider using EITHER guy in that role.

  • Chris says:

    I wasn’t aware that Kessel had Marc Savard feeding him passes for the last 100 games of his career.  My bad.

  • Chris says:

    “Wrong. Cammy play’s defense relatively well.”

    Guess that is the source of the disagreement then. Cammalleri is, in my opinion, one of the worst defensive players in the NHL. He makes up for it by being a goal scorer, a rare talent in today’s game.

    Kessel is 23. Let’s have this conversation again when he has another 5 years of experience under his belt so that he can be aptly compared to the 28 year old Cammalleri.

  • _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Wrong. Cammy play’s defense relatively well.  Something Kessel does not, which is why defensive minded coach’s like Julien detest him.  Whens the last time Kessel dropped the gloves or went into a corner to get his nose dirty like Cammy does?  As for Reimer I’m sure given some time the Toronto based sports media will be singing his maple leaf praises and holding him aloft on a maple leaf pedestal just like the fans are doing now. The only point I proved is you are mistaken.

  • habsguy says:

    you dont think having Savard feed you passes in Boston is a supporting cast….Come on man !!!

  • Chris says:

    Thank you for proving the point.

    Nobody in the media has annointed Reimer.  So how exactly is he being anointed?  Most of the Leafs fans I know are happy, but they also readily point out he could be having the usual rookie binge to start his career.  They have learned well the lessons of Andrew Raycroft.

    Kessel is the things you mentioned.  But he also scores.  So he’s basically the exact same player as Mike Cammalleri, but he has scored at a better rate over the past three seasons than Cammalleri.  And he’s done it without the benefit of the supporting cast that Cammalleri has enjoyed, and at 23 has not even come close to his prime yet.

  • notbigbird says:

    “Nobody in the media has annointed Reimer.”

    I thought so too, and then I saw this: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2011/02/05/sp-leafssabres.html?ref=rss

    “Goalie shuffle turns up gem as Leafs head for Buffalo

    Young Reimer coming off team’s first shutout of the season”

    It just shows to go ya. :)

  • Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Agreed. It is often difficult to view a fan favorite or a player from a competing team with objective eyes.

    Appreciate your comments – more so your patience.

  • habsguy says:

    My bad, I thought you mentioned over the past 3 seasons

  • tonymr says:

    Okay, but Cammi is +6 and Kessel is -20.

  • Chris says:

    There is no question he is one-dimensional.  There is also little question that he is a bit of a jerk.  His team-mates in Boston weren’t crazy about him, and the Leafs sometimes seem annoyed.  I’m not entirely convinced that his going last overall in the all-star draft wasn’t a reflection of his personality.  :)

    <p>That being said, Cammalleri’s teammates in Los Angeles weren’t always enthralled with his personality.  The rumours still float that they felt he cared more about his salary then the team’s performance.  I think he has grown out of that, and we’ll see if Kessel does too.  I remain a bit skeptical with Kessel on that front, but the kid can score.  Give the Leafs a second line to take some heat off him, Grabovski and MacArthur and I’m curious to see how those young guys mature.

  • filincal says:

    I cant remember seeing Kessel “battle” for a puck in his own end. And his constant whining on the bench makes you wonder why other players have called him a bad team-mate. Kessel would be a good player on a team with other scorers, but he’s counted on to get the majority of the goals for the leafs. Thus he’s pushed into the limelight where he’s exposed for the one-dimensional player he is. If the Habs had two fourty goal scores on our team I’d take Kessel to chip in a few for us.________

     

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  • filincal says:

    I think Pleks was voted one of the most underated players in the league by his own peers…and I’m sure Price isn’t to fun to play against either. I really don’t care what other fans think of our players…we got what we have and right now they’re doing pretty good despite all the “fake’ fan grumblings.

    ________I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  • habsguy says:

    you dont think Price or Pleks should be mentioned with the elite at their positions??…seriously…Pleks is one of the top 2 way centers in the league,  he may not have the points, but he plays every situatiion and does it as good or better than most!!!!!……Price gives us a chance to win every game he plays AND he does it with his best 2 Dmen on the shelf, he is one of the top goalies out there..

  • _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Kessel is soft as cream cheese, and doesn’t know or want to play defense.  Let’s give Reimer a full season before we annoint him the next greatest Leaf goalie.

  • Chris says:

    Great article by Damian Cox regarding the snide comments around Reimer and Kessel:

    http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/

    Somewhat applicable in any hockey-mad market. The media often take the fall for things that were never said. And players for both the Leafs AND the Habs tend to be either hugely over-rated or torn apart by their own fan base and by the rest of the fans in the league.

    As Cox pointed out, Kessel is a very good hockey player. Yet you would think he’s a career AHL player the way people talk about him sometimes.

    Here in Montreal, a lot of fans seem to think the Carey Price and Tomas Plekanec are two of the elite players at their positions. Outside of Montreal, fans seem to think both guys are very over-rated. The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between: Price and Plekanec are both very good players who still have a ways to go to prove that their names belong amongst the elite of the game.

  • deuce6 says:

    Some fans overrate and some underrate, as you are doing now..IMO, Plex may not be a shoe in for a Selke, but he should be mentioned..Carey Price is an elite talent..You talk about Kessel being the tender age of 23, but rip down Price’s play because he is “overrated”..Price is near the top of the NHL in almost every category, when it applies to goalie stats, and is only 23..

    Plex, although not an elite talent like an OV or a Sid, but I am willing to bet that when we are up a goal with 15 seconds on the clock, with the face off deep in our zone, who, would you, put out there between the 3?

    Being a great defensive forward gets looked over on so many occassions..But what I don’t get is why Plex is getting underrated? The guy plays, and excels, in every situation and still puts up 70 points a year…

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  • Bill H says:

    Yes, I think Damien Cox makes a good point in the article.  The jury is still out on the Kessel trade.  And nobody in the media is saying Reimer is an all star.

    Here in Montreal, we are lucky to have Price and Pleks.  But if it was up to the majority of wannabe GMs around here, both would have been traded for a bag of pucks before they found their respective games. 

    Pleks does just about everything well, but is way out of the elite category as a goal scorer. 

    Price is coming off of 2 bad seasons and is playing very well.  Take him out of the equation and our team sinks like a stone.  But let’s keep it in perspective.  We are only about 2/3s of the way through the season.  If Price whiffs on a few key shots in the first round of the playoffs, there will be loud screams for his head on a stick around here.  The evidence suggests that Price has conquered his demons and will be solid going forward.  But we really have yet to see how good he is when it counts.  He is not yet in the elite category.

  • Danno says:

    You know what they say. Too many Cooks spoil the broth!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  • BJ says:

    No Bill is on the other side.

  • _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Dude, you need help.

  • HabFab says:

    Did the NHL screw up in inviting PK to the All Star Game?

    This video would seem to confirm that!

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hdpid=49&id=82294&navid=nhl-rr-topvid

     

  • habsguy says:

    I dont get it ??????

  • Ian Cobb says:

    PK sold the game twice as well as half the other players that were there. He has one of those rare magnetic personalities with talent.

  • Chris says:

    Yeah, they did that in football too. And a lot of them are dying young or suffering horribly in their older age because of playing through those “headaches”.

    Concussions are real and they can be horrible. I suggest you read Kevin Kaminsky’s story in this article:

    http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/288194

  • Psycho29 says:

    Back in those days they played with concussions….They called them “headaches”

  • Danno says:

    Ahhh yes! Thank you Fred!

    I guess Bun was the guy who would go in through the out door too!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  • Psycho29 says:

    That’s freakin nasty!

     

  • Danno says:

    How come Bun Cook’s sweater has a number in front unlike the others?

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  • Fred D says:

    The number is actually on the back, just like the others.The thing is, he has it on backwards!

    When you ran into him or he ran over you, he wanted you to know who he was!

    Cheers

  • observer says:

    Bun looks like Bill. Maybe Bun put his sweater on backwards by mistake.

  • Psycho29 says:

    I wonder how long Avery would last with the four guys in the picture??

  • JohnBellyful says:

    Seconds?

  • Danno says:

    Bruins on Wednesday in Boston. Now that will be a big match.

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  • W35T5ID3 says:

    milliseconds?

  • W35T5ID3 says:

    boy those ’32 ranger boys sure look intimidating….yup…

  • Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Dunno – lots of choppers on these boys.

  • icky pop says:

    the cook bros played hockey in my home town of saskatoon. wish the habs had some of their grit in front of the net. i think all teams would love that grit.

    “The lord is coming down to the people. He aint coming in peace this time around; he spreads his pain around.” Slim Cessna

  • habs365 says:

    saskatoon a nice city

  • SmartDog says:

    LOL

    —-

    “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

  • Chris says:

    Whole-heartedly agree.  I just worry that the massive high that comes with fan adoration always has to come with the unbelievable lows that we put some of our own players through.  Price was serenaded with boos.  Pouliot, Kostitsyn and Pacioretty were routinely questioned for either or both of their talent or skill.  We’re a very bipolar fan base, as are most of the other Canadian markets.  Can’t be easy on the players.

    <p>Price and Subban have the potential to develop into the kind of elite talents that you wouldn’t dream part with, and Pacioretty is rapidly developing into that most rare NHL talent (a power forward that can actually score) that he might become indispensable IF his development continues.

  • ZepFan2 says:

    No, it’s the new robotic slogan for nike. Idoit…I do it.

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~


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